Summary Theme Consultants Participating agencies Agenda
  2006 Theme:
"From Demand Creation to Demand Conversion, What are the Implications for the Creative Process?"

(+ Some Findings from the Summit 2005, expressed by Consultants)

1. The Need for Innovation in Consumer Approach:

The Consequences of Consumer empowerment on communications were dramatically demonstrated and clearly showed that the Advertising industry was going to be totally restructured by this only factor. With or without the agencies' help.

Our goal is to provide the participants with up-to-date information on the current situations, objectives and development strategies of some of the largest global advertising companies and provide an opportunity to network with major agency search consultants from around the world.
  "Consumer was King, then God. Now Consumer is our competitor."

"Technology has given consumer the means of choosing the Channels, the Products and the Brands he wants to relate to, at the time and for the duration of his choice. Now he can create his own content through consumer blogs, forums and review sites give consumers a global voice that can determine the fate of a brand."

2006 Focus

So does consumer empowerment mean bad news for Advertising? Are current marketing solutions involving new communications touch points and techniques using consumer empowerment a passing fad in the faddish world of advertising or does it represent a more significant shift? How are main stream agencies incorporating these trends in their planning? And do they walk the talk?

2. The Need for Innovation in Creative Development:

Agencies finally understood that the core of their service was the Idea not the Campaign.
  "The mantra of the big idea is resonating throughout the industry as the centre of plate need to provide integrated holistic communications. No one has clearly differentiated themselves in this area."

"I believe all agencies stressed the fact that the advertising campaign is dead unless it is built on a business idea/ brand idea. Looking at the output only a few of them have gotten to the point where we can see the difference."

"Creating a creative business idea is the focus of the network. That’s clear vision of all network and holding companies. After a period of pure accountability-driven organizations occurs to me a sense of urgency to create a Center of creative excellence. The way agencies create their own solutions was breaking news. New lighthouses, better trained and coached people, better tools and working methods gives a relevant sign of a new development in the agencies. It was demonstrated that the global networks focus on a real integrated world. A real re-invention!"

"This is a renaissance time for agencies as there is more creativity from more aces than I have seen in my 20 years in the business."
2006 Focus

Some Agencies have started to re-invent the creative process. Few have started to question the organization of the creative department and the composition of the new creative team. This is clearly an area of interest for the up-coming Summit. What is inside the Creative Box? Today and Tomorrow.

3. The Need for Innovation in Organizational Solutions:

We witnessed what should be tomorrow’s focus and fight between Media and Creative agencies: The Battle of Re-convergence. Some defining it as the Full service agency re-visited some others as mini holdings. With the blessing and the active involvement of Holding companies which are (painfully) revisiting their organisation.
  "My impression of the London Summit in April was that the media agency more than we realize claim their position in creative content developing. An observation that the participating media-agencies confirms also in this summit in NYC; and how? These are the new initiatives that leads to effective ways of brand communications based on consumer insight (see their processes), their tools and their ambition (in-house creative teams) to create new effective ways of communication to the consumer. They invested in creative people and in tools to track their effective brand contacts. In fact the core business of the creative agencies!!!! So the consequence will be that media will come back to the agency. There will be a need for really integration of strategy creative and media. That’s going on and creative agencies should realize that this trend is already going on. There’s no way back."

"Media agencies own the high ground over their creative partners with more implicit insight into the consumer, new technologies and the future. It is evident that some merging of thought between media and creative is required through closer working relationships to deliver the clients the optimum effect."

"The Media Agencies are moving into the position of marketing agencies, given the depth of their involvement in client business. Some creative agencies will probably follow this example, once the volume of the alarm clock for the wake up call has been turned up to maximum."
2006 Focus

Interestingly, it is not clear how convergence between media and creative agencies is going to happen in the future. Does the relative silence on this topic signal that, for the time being both parties deny this problem or are they heading for a confrontation? How will the industry merge of the best of both worlds?

This should have also implications on Clients organization and eventually on Agencies labelling (Will they be called Media or Creative agencies in 3 years time?). Are Agencies using innovative organizational and management techniques to better serve their client needs?